U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, received a letter from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) regarding an update for a potential new missile defense site for the East Coast.
In the letter, the DoD identified Fort Drum in New York as the current preferred option “by a small margin”, but noted that it is likely the most expensive option and has significant environmental challenges.
Fort Custer, near Battle Creek, is considered the least expensive option. The letter also noted that there is no plan for a new site at this time, and that the preferred location will be re-evaluated should a site be necessary in the future.
“Fort Custer is in a strategic location and has strong local, state and federal support. Particularly at a time when our nation continues to face threats from Iran and North Korea, I continue to believe Fort Custer is the ideal location for a potential missile defense site,” said Senator Peters. “The Department of Defense has made clear that this decision is not final and that Fort Custer is the least expensive option. I’ll continue pressing for the Environmental Impact Statement to be made public as the next step in evaluating how a potential missile defense site can strengthen national security.”
Peters received the letter after repeatedly pressing DoD officials on an update and highlighting Fort Custer as an ideal candidate to host the missile defense site.
In this year’s national defense bill which passed the Senate today, Peters supported a provision requiring the department to publish the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to identify potential sites – which it still has not done.
You can read the full letter below: